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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Chili Today, Hot Tamale

The Weather Man (2005) on IMDb

Plot Overview

smileTalking head Dave Spritz (Nicolas Cage) graduated college in the field of General Communications, which of itself limited his career options. After­wards he found, “All the possibilities I faced … got reduced every year to fewer and fewer. Until finally they got reduced to one, … the weather man.” He does make a six-figure salary—when one includes doing promotions—for spending all of two hours a day in the Chicago studio brightly reading weather prompts in front of a camera.

Outside the studio he has an ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis) who quells his attempts to get back together, a 12-year-old daughter Shelly (Gemmenne De La Peña) who has grown out of child­hood faster than he expected, a sixteen-year-old son Mike (Nicholas Hoult) who's in rehab for smoking pot, and the hoi polloi who treat him like a clown—this last is off­set by occasional celebrity sex. He also has a renowned author for a father, Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Spritzel (Michael Caine) who is dying of lymphoma and whose approval he covets. As a shot in the dark he's applied to become the weather­man on Bryan Gumbel's upscale Hello America show in New York. They have shown some interest.


Noreen has had trouble communicating with her weatherman hubby. She'll have told him to pick up a certain item at the store, only to have him forget it; his mind runs on free associations until it's lost in the mix. She'll give him a sealed written confidence, only to have him violate her trust by ripping it open at the first opportunity. He's in weather­man mode. As a weather­man he has to read those written prompts no matter what, but his mind can wander all over the place, nobody cares what he thinks about. Doesn't work so well in a marriage. Noreen would have done better to give him a written grocery note and to whisper her confidence in the throes of passion. He'd retain the first and forget the latter. Oh, well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The depth of their marital problems is intimated by the new fellow she takes up with. Russ (Michael Rispoli) reminds me of a character from a Scott Sigler novel:

“We Chicagoans like to eat,” Pookie said. “You have your tofu and bean sprouts, Cali boy, I'll keep my brats and bear claws.” (8)

Russ is overweight and has a penchant for ignoring personal space and spouting inappropriate comments, just the ticket to disqualify him from ever becoming a TV weather­man. Noreen wants to distance her­self from marriage to a weatherman, so she picks Dave's complete opposite.

snowball fightIn a playful mood, Dave picks up a handful of weather, i.e. snow, and makes an abortive attempt to start a snow­ball fight with Noreen. Similarly, his public tries to start a food fight with his weather reports, chucking meal remnants at him: “Fast food. Things that people would rather throw out than finish. It's easy, it tastes all right, but it doesn't really provide you any nourishment. I'm fast food.”

Dave approves of his daughter's toughness, her thick skin like that of a creature of the harsh desert. He tracks his son's purchase of a sweater to combat the Chicago cold. Always weather on his mind.

When Dave tries to write his own novel, it's the worst manuscript I've ever seen. It's a series of catch phrases that would be great style for a weather report but anathema to serious writing. His Pulitzer-winning father has “practiced and I've gotten good. Like you and the weather business.” But there are no Pulitzer prizes for weather reporting. Dave also studies meteor­ology on the side, though it's not a job requirement.

Dave's one weatherman skill is working in front of the green board. He has to have a keen perspective to coordinate with a weather map out­side his visual field. The hobby he takes up is archery, one where he like­wise must work with perspective, of target(s), gravity, and wind. His hobby is an adjunct to his career, just like every­thing else in his life.

While all those other things are a struggle that he's hard pressed to win, he's a shoo-in to the high­falutin weather­man position in New York. They're delighted to find him, and he can afford to play hard to get. (Prov. 22:29) “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”

Production Values

” (2005) was written by Steve Conrad and directed by Gore Verbinski. It stars Nicolas Cage, Hope Davis, and Nicholas Hoult. Cage manages to make us care for the lead character in his dull life. Michael Caine as the father dispenses wisdom while not under­standing nouveau termin­ology. Various other supporting roles uphold their end just fine.

MPAA rated it R for strong language and sexual content. It would not be an exag­ger­ation to call the language potty mouth and the sex raw. The music was light in the back­ground except for Bob Seger's “Like a Rock” complete with lyrics and comments. The movie had a European feel to it with its philosophical narration and subdued action.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

If you'd like a movie that helps you muse on life rather than escape it, this one should do the trick. Most every­one, I should expect, has some victories and some regrets in the work world balanced by family obligations. The pacing moves it right along with­out waste of screen time. Generating a movie high is not its goal, though there is some resolution at the end. To me it was worth viewing, and it would probably appeal to any­one with eclectic tastes.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Sigler, Scott. Nocturnal. Copyright © 2012, Scott Sigler. New York: Crown Publishers, 2012. Print.